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Recovery From Ear Block/Infection

Discussion in 'Ask A Flight Surgeon' started by berge7f9, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. berge7f9

    berge7f9 Well-Known Member

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    I know there was a thread about the causes of ear block and its associated symptoms. I have been recently diagnosed with an ear infection and right now I hearing things as if I am currently wearing a pair of unplugged David Clark headsets. It seems obvious that I have my Eustachian tube blocked. After my diagnosis of an ear infection at the clinic I went to today, I was given some antibiotics to take and was told not to fly until at least a week. It somewhat sucks because I'm a flight instructor and flying is my source of income. From what I have seen on the internet, it takes about 3 months for the Eustachian tube to become free of fluid. In my mind, 3 months without instructing would be marginally disastrous.

    If any JCers have had an ear block that has more than 2 or 3 days, how long did it take for you to get over it? What are all the things that I can do to get my Eustachian tubes open. Someone please tell me that it does not take longer than advertised.

    peace
  2. My Flight Surgeon

    My Flight Surgeon Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner Staff Member

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    It should take only a week or so to be able to fly. I would stay under 5000 ft AGL for the following 2 weeks. Try to "pop" your ears before you try flying, if you can pop them, you can try flying but be cautious and stay out of IMC and away from nights.

    Use Afrin twice a day for a week.

    Ask you Dr for Flonase to take down the swelling. It should be used for a month to prevent rebound swelling.

    You can use Claritin (or cheaper yet AllerClear from Costco) to dry things up.
  3. Bandit_Driver

    Bandit_Driver Gold Member

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    I am just getting over an ear infection. The DOC is definatley correct on Flonase...It works great. Just smells like rosewater a little bit, but you will get used to it...

    WHAT EVER YOU DO, DO NOT PRACTICE EMERGENCY DESCENTS UNTIL YOUR EARS ARE CLEAR !!!
  4. My Flight Surgeon

    My Flight Surgeon Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner Staff Member

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    AGREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Slow descents are the safest for this problem.
  5. berge7f9

    berge7f9 Well-Known Member

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    well I awoke this morning with a great deal of pain in my right neck muscles and my right upper back muscles to the point where I could not move my neck to the right and only to the left. After some deliberation, a few Tylenol gelcaps did the trick as far as partially relieving that pain is concerned, but as of tonight there is still a dull ache that exists.

    I still get the impression that there is still a certain amount of fluid in my right ear and a little bit in the left ear. The reason I say that is because as I move my head to the left and to the right, I hear the same kind of quiet roar that one hears when one puts one's ear directly into the wind. If this is the case, what else can I do or who else can I see to get the fluid out of my ears. Should I try going on a short flight of pattern work to see if the fluid in my ears will bother me?
  6. My Flight Surgeon

    My Flight Surgeon Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner Staff Member

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    DO NOT FLY!!!!!!!!!

    It will take several days to get over this. You can't rush it when it gets like this. If not better by Monday, see your doc.
  7. adreamer

    adreamer Well-Known Member

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    Good evening, Doc:

    Does excessive ear wax cause ear block? any suggestions?
  8. My Flight Surgeon

    My Flight Surgeon Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner Staff Member

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    SAY WHAT?????????:)

    Yes it does. If you have excess ear wax (cerumen), but Debrox at the drug store and follow the directions on the bottle. It will soften the wax and allow it to run out. Use it once aweek to prevent wax build-up. This is particularly important if you use the ear plug type hearing protectors.

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